Re-grading the 2022 NBA Draft: Jackpots and a potential whiff

Now having played a full season of NBA basketball, there is enough data on the San Antonio Spurs' 2022 draft picks to analyze those selections.

Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs
Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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The 2022-23 NBA season has long passed, the 2023 draft has come and gone, and we’ve reached more than two weeks since the end of summer league. In simpler terms, fans are in the midst of the doldrums of the NBA offseason. The only hope for content these days is that teams reach a resolution on a Damian Lillard/James Harden trade or that one of the few superstars playing in the FIBA World Cup right now gives us a cool highlight.

Spurs fans in particular have let their attention drift toward October, when basketball will be back and they finally get to watch Victor Wembanyama make his NBA debut. Imagine it’s Christmas morning; it’s like fans of the Silver & Black have just opened up the number one gift they asked for and have completely forgotten about all of their other toys. They just want to play with the new one (rather, watch Wemby play).

Let us not forget, however, about some other recent gifts that the Spurs franchise have given their fans. 2022 draft picks Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham, Blake Wesley, and undrafted center Dominick Barlow are in the midst of their first real NBA offseason. Draftees have historically spoken about not getting enough time between the draft and the beginning of the season to make the transition from college/other leagues to the NBA.

Fans got to see three of the four guys named above play solid minutes in this year’s summer league (with Sochan sitting out to avoid injury). All four have plenty to work on in their sophomore years as they look to find a long-term role on the Spurs, a job made easier by the addition of the Frenchman to the roster. 

About halfway through last season, I did an exercise where I redrafted the 2022 draft for the good guys. Here I’ll do something similar, but assign grades to each selection instead of finding a better player or fit. From the lowest drafted to the highest…

Undrafted: Dominick Barlow

Spurs fans didn’t get to watch much of the 6’9” forward out of Overtime Elite in his rookie season, although he showed flashes when he did see the court. He spent a lot of time in Austin, where he DOM-inated (sorry, not sorry for that). Following his recent re-signing with the team on a two-way contract, Barlow may play the majority of his minutes with the G-League team for a second consecutive season. 

However, that doesn’t mean that the Spurs don’t see a future with Barlow. There are simply too many players on the team right now to give Dominick one of the 15 full contracts that the team is limited to. As the front office makes deals and the roster thins out over the course of the season, there’s a strong chance Barlow gets a standard deal. Plus, after watching his play in summer league, it’s within the realm of possibility that the team sees Dom as the long term big next to Wemby.

Grade: B+. He was a free investment and already appears to be paying dividends.